Prof. Dr. Martin Per-Olof Wickman, Stockholm University 

Title: About the relations between aesthetics, science and learning

Time:    July 9, 2008, 5:15 pm
Place:   Building, Universitaet Potsdam


This lecture examines the role of aesthetic experience in learning science and in science education
from the perspective of knowledge as action and language use. The theoretical underpinnings are based on
the writings of John Dewey and Ludwig Wittgenstein. In their spirit aesthetics is examined as it appears in
the lives of people and how it relates to the activities in which they are involved.

The presentation is centered around an empirical analysis of how students and their teachers use aesthetic
language and acts during laboratory and field work. It will be demonstrated that aesthetics is something that
is constantly talked about in science class and that these aesthetic experiences and taste are intemately
involved in learning science. These empirical findings are related to current debates about the relation
between aesthetics and science, and about motivation, participation, learning and sociocultural issues
in science education.